The first is what, exactly, Google Analytics (and Universal Analytics) actually are.
When you’re first confronted with Google Analytics, it’s quite common to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of new concepts to grasp.
Sounds simple, and it is. But let’s break down what this means for what the google data analysis tool can and can’t do, and how to use it most effectively.
Tracking Code Overview
Because your website configuration and reporting needs might differ from a standard setup, it’s a good idea to comprehend the general tracking process to ensure that your reports deliver data as you expect. In this way, you can decide how to configure Analytics tracking to best suit your own site.
“… some code put on your site”
This also means that you can only track pages that have your specific code properly installed: if any pages of your site are missing the code, or there are errors in the code, you won’t be able to get information on visits to those pages.
As mentioned before, Google Analytics records a lot of very detailed info about your website visitors to your account. But it does all this anonymously, meaning that it doesn’t record any personally identifiable information regarding your visitors to your account.
What you can’t find out from your account is that persons’ name, email address or phone number – even if they entered it on your own site.
Google Analytics overloads you with information: your job is to focus
An avalanche of comprehensive data is recorded to your Google Analytics account, and only a small fraction of it will help you improve your online results. It is so easy to get confused and overwhelmed by the all the data generated, and it’s difficult to figure out what to pay attention to and what you can ignore. This tutorial is all about helping you concentrate on the useful info and ignore the distracting data.
Google Analytics will only record what you set it up to record
These modifications take the form of simple tweaks to your tracking code, small changes to the code that runs your site, and configuration of your account to monitor the info that will give you the most insight.
Google Analytics is the most helpful when you focus on the most relevant, actionable data in your account and ignore the deluge of interesting but ultimately useless (to you right now) data.
In general, the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) retrieves web page data as follows:
- A browser requests a web page that contains the tracking code.
An element is created and enabled for asynchronous loading (loading in the background).
After the monitoring code collects data, the GIF request is sent to the Analytics database for logging and post-processing.
How GIF Requests Are Classified
A GIF request is sent to the Analytics servers in the following cases and classified according to the table below. In each of these instances, the GIF request is identified by type in the utmt parameter. In addition, the kind of the request also determines which information is sent to the Analytics servers.
For example, transaction and item information is only sent to the Analytics servers when a purchase is made. User, page, and system advice is only sent when an event is recorded or when a page loads, as well as the user-defined value, is simply sent when the _setVar method is called.